Oh, the holidays! While the cheerful glow of lights and seasonal decorations transforms the world into a winter wonderland, it is all too easy to forget that this is also one of the most stressful times of year. Between shopping for gifts, attending holiday events and spending far too much time with the extended family, it is easy to see why Christmas is also the most common time for people to relapse. Although triggers for your addiction seem to be lurking around every corner just waiting to pop up like a holiday surprise, it is possible to stay on track with your recovery by being ready when they arrive.
1. Avoid Indulging In Self-Pity
Do those holiday commercials of happy families gathering around the table make you feel lonely? Or, perhaps those jewelry ads make you miss someone that you lost. Falling into the trap of believing that your life is worse than anyone else’s is a trigger that must be stopped. Instead of ruminating on all that is wrong in your world, step up and help someone else. Dropping off gifts to a low-income family or writing cards to soldiers overseas will replace self-pity with a sense of accomplishment.
2. Stop the Blame Game
Remember that old game Sorry? That was fun, but it’s time to quit expecting people to apologize for every mistake. Blaming others for your circumstances not only makes those family gatherings uncomfortable, but it also eats away at your ability to resolve important issues. At West Palm Beach Rehab, one of the first things you do is learn to take responsibility for your actions. Letting go of the blame, also allows you to let go of the past and be stronger for the future.
3. Prevent Boredom
Since getting sober, you have buried yourself in work or a favorite hobby. However, holiday vacation time leaves you with hours to spare. In the past, cracking open a bottle or getting fixed up gave you something to do. Expect boredom to happen, and be proactive by planning to spend more time working on the strategies for sobriety that you learned in your West Palm treatment program. Find something fun to do, like what to do in west palm beach.
4. Resolve Your Resentments
Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. It requires no money or serious time commitment. However, it makes a world of difference when it comes to healing your mental health and relationships. Look at resentment as a wound that just keeps festering. If you are dreading seeing someone, consider replacing your anger with forgiveness. Do it for yourself rather than for them. They don’t even have to know about it but you will when you feel the freedom of avoiding this common trigger.
5. Squash Your Anxiety
Feelings of anxiousness rise this time of year, but many of the things you worry about never happen. Sometimes, you may not even be able to pinpoint the source of your anxiety. Just remember that this is normal. Focus on just making it through one moment at a time instead of stressing out over the big picture.
6. Relinquish Irresponsibility
When your to-do list stacks up, it’s tempting to blow off everything and have some fun. However, irresponsible behavior just adds up to more work when you destroy the solid path that you are on. Instead, assess each idea as they come, to determine if they are aligned with what you really need to accomplish. If not, scratch them off of your list. While a late night party with old friends may seem like a great way to let off some steam, the aftermath is just not worth it.
7. Guard Against Dishonesty
Little white lies abound during the holiday season as parents prep their kids for Santa and surprises are kept carefully under wraps. While these kinds of lies may be fun, it is important to focus on staying honest with yourself and those people who support your sobriety. During your time at West Palm Beach rehab, you get to unweave the tangle of lies that was created during the worst days of your addiction. Choosing to avoid deceit makes it easier to be where you say you are going to be anytime you see a potential opportunity for falling prey to a craving.
8. Deal With Disappointment
Setbacks happen throughout recovery, yet feeling as though you have been let down is a major trigger that occurs frequently this time of year. Whether you are upset that a relative won’t be able to make it to a gathering or you really wish you’d had something better under the tree, focus on counting your blessings. Spending a few minutes engaged in gratitude will ease any residual sadness you feel.
9. Send Away the Shame
Over the next few weeks, you will likely encounter people who knew you back when things were not so good. You may have even hurt a few of them, or let them see your worst side due to the haze of drugs or alcohol. Everyone has embarrassing moments in the past and seeing them as negative experiences is just a sign that you are making progress. You’ve done hard work in order to get your life back together. Let go of any feelings of shame and highlight your best attributes. You truly do have good things to contribute.
10. Recognize Impatience
Just as a child eagerly anticipates Christmas morning, you may be wondering when the urge to go back to your old ways will stop. West Palm treatment involves a full program of support that focuses on understanding the underlying reasons for your addiction so that you can find healing. However, the process of recovery takes time. Be patient and continue striving toward your goals.
As the holidays hit full swing, stay on track with your sobriety by staying alert for triggers that quickly lead to cravings. Then, follow the strategies learned in your West Palm Beach Rehab program to stay strong and enjoy a sober and happy holiday.